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Boat and pool safety tips as Memorial Day weekend approaches

FILE - Boats on the Lake of the Ozarks in August 2022.
FILE - Boats on the Lake of the Ozarks in August 2022.


With Memorial Day weekend approaching, boating traffic on Missouri lakes and rivers may increase and more people may be encouraged to go to the pools.

Its important to know valuable tips if you plan on swimming or boating this weekend and throughout the summer.

Per the Missouri State Highway Patrol, if you're boating, a life jacket for everyone on board is a must. Children under seven years old are required to wear a personal floatation device while in a boat, but you are never too old to wear one.

If you are operating a boat, slow down in unfamiliar areas and be aware of water conditions. Recognize the dangers of boating fatigue and designate a sober capitan if you are planning on consuming alcohol

If you are going to the pools, make sure you never leave a child unattended in or near water. If you own a pool or spa, install layers of protection, such as barriers and pool covers. Learn CPR on children and adult, teach your child how to swim.

A drowning can happen quickly, whith little or no sign the victim is struggling.

In 2023, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 28 drownings in Missouri, so it is important to wear a life jacket. For children, make sure they stay away from pool drains, pipes and other opening to avoid getting trapped.

Also in 2023, there were 159 boating crashes in the state, and of those crashes there were 89 injuries and six deaths.

If you are operating a boat, it is your responsibility to do whatever you can to avoid a crash. The best way to protect children is to monitor them at all times when they are in the pool.

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Jazsmin Halliburton


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